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The presidential campaign of Donald Trump was roiled by two high profile departures on Monday, after the unexpected firing of the presumptive GOP nominee's top lieutenant triggered the resignation of another senior aide.
In a move that surprised the political world on Monday, Trump abruptly dismissed campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Yet shortly after Lewandowski's departure was reported, Michael Caputo—Trump's New York campaign director—tweeted "Ding dong the witch is dead!" That post led Caputo to step down later in the day, according to NBC News.
His resignation capped a day of changes in the Trump campaign that observers described as chaotic. One campaign staffer, asked about his ouster, told NBC News that there's "bedlam in the Trump campaign. No one knows what is happening."
"The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican Primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign," Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement to the newspaper.
"The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future," she added.
Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee since May when his last remaining Republican opponents suspended their campaigns, has had a rocky few weeks, struggling to consolidate support in the party ahead of its national convention in July. The New York businessman has also made a series of recent comments that have drawn rebuke from a handful of leading Republican politicians, leading some pundits to ask if there could actually be an attempt to deny Trump the nomination.
Some have suggested that Monday's announcement is a reflection of these struggles and Trump's recent slip in poll numbers.
Trump has cultivated a reputation for loyalty to his top aides, and he even criticized former GOP primary opponent Ted Cruz for removing a key member of his campaign staff.
Sources told NBC that Trump had a "direct conversation" with Lewandowski on Monday morning. The presumptive GOP nominee "completely severed" the professional relationship between the two men after coming to the conclusion that his campaign manager had become "a problem." sources said.
One source told NBC News that "things were off the rails and he needed to do something pretty dramatic."
Lewandowski has been a figure of some controversy within the Trump camp, especially after he was accused of grabbing a reporter during a March campaign event. Although he was initially charged with simple battery, Florida officials decided not to proceed with their case.
Much has been written about alleged in-fighting within the Trump campaign, with the popular narrative pitting Lewandowski against campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Lewandowski is known for letting "Trump be Trump," NBC News noted.
NBC said Manafort is expected to fill the gap left in Lewandowski's absence, but he is not widely expected to become the permanent campaign manager.
A representative for the Republican National Committee declined to comment to NBC on Lewandowski.
—NBC News and CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.